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Michael Thackwell - the truth


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#1 Kerry Thackwell

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 14:59

Speaking to my brother Michael this morning he asked me to send in a reply to rumours that he runs a pub in England. He is at present running a second hand skateboard / surf shop on the South Coast of England, not a Pub as often quoted. He spends his time surfing, skateboarding and free climbing in the French and Swiss Alps when finance allows as well as smoking a hell of a lot of good weed ( His words not mine ) and in general enjoying life. To see him paddle out in out of control big waves by himself or to have a weeklong session smoking primo weed with Mick while discussing world affairs is to understand why he had to move on from Motorsport. Hoping the above sheds some light on my brother who is also the best crew I know. The pictures of Mick on this site I will be showing to him as soon as I return from my next stint as a deckhand on Crabbers in the English Channel as there were some classics.

Kerry Thackwell

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#2 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 18:55

Thanks for that, Kerry.

I admit I had him down as possibly running a pub, but I'm happy to change it. Sounds like he's having a whale of a time. :smoking:

#3 David M. Kane

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 19:53

:rolleyes: :smoking:

#4 petefenelon

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 22:33

Originally posted by Kerry Thackwell
as well as smoking a hell of a lot of good weed ( His words not mine ) and in general enjoying life. To see him paddle out in out of control big waves by himself or to have a weeklong session smoking primo weed with Mick while discussing world affairs is to understand why he had to move on from Motorsport.


Sounds like a hell of a lot more fun than discussing tyre vibration in untimed practice sessions with a bunch of engineers. I'm glad he's found his place in life - sounds perfect to me. There aren't enough free spirits in the world.

#5 paulsenna1

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 22:39

Cool :smoking:

#6 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 05:32

That's cool, but why in England? It's too flipping cold. Surfing, skating and smoking weed is a lot funner in Malibu! There are better looking chicks as well. :smoking: :wave:

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 05:45

Does that matter after you've been smoking weed?

Wonder does he ever think of younger days in other parts of the world?

#8 Piston Broke

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 07:49

Originally posted by Fiorentina 1
That's cool, but why in England? It's too flipping cold. Surfing, skating and smoking weed is a lot funner in Malibu! There are better looking chicks as well. :smoking: :wave:


Personally I would go somewhere relaxed like Byron Bay, or better still Nimbin, Mullumbimby or Woodenbong :stoned: :smoking: (yes there really is a place called Woodenbong) :rotfl: I guess then anywhere is relaxed.

I imagine you would still get looked at as odd if you have anything other than a Combie Van. Its like a Doctor Who time warp....... Now where are those tie-die shirts and flares I put away 30 (+) years ago. :eek:

Each to their own, but glad to see he is happy (hippie?) and enjoying presumably a stress free life. I wonder how much different things would have been if he hadnt gone to Thruxton that day when he had the huge shunt in F2 c1981. Although it didnt end his career it certainly altered its direction and momentum somewhat, having become the youngest ever to actually start a GP (albeit a brief one) :clap:

I wonder if he still has any interest in motor racing or watches GP's on TV? Also if there is a 3rd generation Thackwell racer in the picture? Kerry ......?

Edit: Oh btw 'Fiorentina 1' you say better looking chicks in Malibu...... mate, they all turn into / look like Miss World after an evening of Mullumbimby Madness! :love: :kiss: (So I have been told.... )

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 08:59

I actually wonder if this thread's just been started to create a stir...

#10 Hank the Deuce

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 11:00

Originally posted by Piston Broke


(yes there really is a place called Woodenbong)


With some twisty little roads in the hills around it too!

#11 jcbc3

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 11:12

Originally posted by Ray Bell
I actually wonder if this thread's just been started to create a stir...



About weed or the best place to surf?

#12 LotusElise

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 11:24

Post reconsidered and deleted.

#13 Allen Brown

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 13:43

Originally posted by Fiorentina 1
Surfing, skating and smoking weed is a lot funner in Malibu! There are better looking chicks as well. :smoking: :wave:

Excuse me! Clearly you've spent too little time in the mother country.

#14 simon drabble

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 14:01

now all I have to do is find out who the hell Michael Thackwell is!

#15 Keir

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 14:12

It took until 2007 for some honest reply as to why Mike stopped racing.

Good for him ! I wish him well !!

#16 Rosemayer

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 15:08

Simon click on the english flag on the top tool bar.

www.statsf1.com/drivers/fiche.asp?idPilote=557&LG=1

#17 simon drabble

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 15:34

what a disapointment that someone who was clearly talented would display such an appaling lack of judgement asto ask his sibling to describe his current lifestyle in so much detail....
maybe he has partaken a little too much of the exotic cheroot!

#18 ensign14

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 15:41

Hearsay evidence. Has a very low persuasiveness on the judiciary. ;)

#19 bill patterson

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 15:41

Ditto previous post

The phrase too much too young springs to mind

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#20 ian senior

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 15:41

Originally posted by simon drabble
what a disapointment that someone who was clearly talented would display such an appaling lack of judgement asto ask his sibling to describe his current lifestyle in so much detail....
maybe he has partaken a little too much of the exotic cheroot!


Perhaps he simply couldn't be arsed to do it himself, he's turned his back on motor sport so why should he bother to tell us himself if he didn't want to? Strikes me he's very happy with his place in life, which is more than many of us are. Lucky man.

#21 James Page

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 15:45

Sounds like a great way of life, to my mind. Who are we to judge anyone? Good on you, Mike.

#22 simon drabble

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 16:10

smoking illegal drugs are not my thing but if they were I am not sure that I would want to advertise it on a public forum.......

#23 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 16:21

He's hardly freebasing cocaine with under 13s

#24 Paul Taylor

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 16:25

Weed eh? Oh well, gardening is the furthest away from motorsport you can possibly be, I suppose...

#25 simon drabble

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 16:46

I am clearly as old and as boring as my teenager children tell me I am!!!!!!

#26 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 17:05

Originally posted by jcbc3
About weed or the best place to surf?


Woodenbong is no place to surf... principally because, like Nimbin and Mullumbimby, it's nowhere near a beach...

Best attribute of the joint is the multiplicity of twisty approaches, real drivers' country. First spotted by me in 1964 en-route to the Lakeside Tasman round, I've never been back there! Whenever I go that way these days, I take the alternative road, the Lions Road that follows the railway between Rathdowney and Kyogle.

I have no idea about the weed side of things.

But my point has been taken up by Simon. Is this really his sibling? Would Mike Thackwell really have wanted this linen aired this way?

#27 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 17:23

Originally posted by Allen Brown
Excuse me! Clearly you've spent too little time in the mother country.


I don't know man, but i haven't seen that many good looking birds in england. Mind you, I've only been to London. Now if we are talking about Switzerland, Italy and Germany.... :up:

Forget Malibu, it's a complete cluster f***. I'd go back to Australia if I were him or the Florida Keys. There is no surfing in the Florida Keys, but the water is warm and the you might get lucky and a small plane might drop 30 kilos of weed from Jamaica in your backyard..... :smoking:

The best thing in life is to enjoy every minute of it. If that is surfing, skating and smoking weed then more power to you. If it's working 60 hours a week and going to art galleries on the weekends, then fine. If happiness is racing sports cars at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans then cool. If it's just watching Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans on TV with your kids and a beer, then that is your porogative. But, at the end of the day who are we to judge what anyone else does. All we should do is wish them the best and enjoy our life.

I saw Mike race in Cart in I think 1984 at Las Vegas in a Penske, subing for injured Rick Mears. I don't know what happened, and why he didn't land a full time ride in 85.

#28 ghinzani

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 17:43

Originally posted by jcbc3



About weed or the best place to surf?


Certainly not Brighton or Bournemouth. There is a good wave sometimes around Plymouth at a few spots, but you really need a longboard for the south coast, which is a way more relaxed style of surfing anyway, and probably preferable to the frantic look at me style that has taken over at Newquay and even Perranporth. There were also a lot of home gardeners down in Devon when I went to University there, I think...

Thackwell sideways at Copse in the Kourous Sauber in 87 is my favourite image of him.

#29 P 4 Staff

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 18:35

Originally posted by Ray Bell
I actually wonder if this thread's just been started to create a stir...


Me too...I cant believe what I am reading here. :(

Staffan.

#30 simon drabble

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 07:51

which is sort of what I was trying to say! Regardless of what ones views are of the laws of the land one is probably not that clever advocating the breaking of them!

#31 Mallory Dan

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 13:58

Originally posted by simon drabble
now all I have to do is find out who the hell Michael Thackwell is!


Are you serious Simon?!

V well known and v fast UK-based racer of the late 70s/early 80s. And F2 Champion. Though like Ian S, I always thought he was a little of the 'silver spoon' brigade....

#32 Twin Window

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 14:09

Originally posted by Mallory Dan

Though like Ian S, I always thought he was a little of the 'silver spoon' brigade....

Seriously? Remember in 1979 there was a story put out that Alan Jones was going to *sponsor* Thack? Well, it was no gift - it was a loan! And I recall vividly talking to Mike about it at the 'Ring in 1982 and him telling me that he'd not yet paid it back all back at that stage.

And 1982 was the season he litereally went from race-to-race, driving whatever became available and without any year-long deal.

{BTW I'm not sure Ian meant what you think!)

#33 Mallory Dan

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 14:24

Sorry chaps (esp Ian), I meant Bill P, as in 'too much too soon'.

I based my view on the fact that not many SoT FFsters of 1978 ended up with a works F3 March drive the year after. And then straight into not 1, but 2 works F2 teams in 190-81. I fully acknowledge he was a v quick bloke, but so were Acheson, Devaney, Roe, Riley, Our Nige, etc etc. In 82 he was with Hotz for F2 as I recall, and while not a full works drive, it was still better than many other young hot-shoes had for that year.

Probably just my support for the underdog that put me off him !

#34 Twin Window

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 14:32

The Jones loan was to keep his seat in the works March. For '82 Ian Phillips was doing deals on a fortnightly basis to get (IIRC) Dunlops out of Japan, and whilst it did work out that he was in Markus' car most of the races he also drove a Bert Schäfer Maurer at Hockenheim.

Markus was pretty skint so the races were taken one at a time. When Thack went off at the 'Ring in practice, we had to pile in a road car after the session, find where he'd crashed, vault the barriers (and risk falling a fair way down a steep hillside) in order to retrieve the nose cone - as they only had the one...

#35 Kerry Thackwell

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 22:23

Originally posted by Twin Window
The Jones loan was to keep his seat in the works March. For '82 Ian Phillips was doing deals on a fortnightly basis to get (IIRC) Dunlops out of Japan, and whilst it did work out that he was in Markus' car most of the races he also drove a Bert Schäfer Maurer at Hockenheim.

Markus was pretty skint so the races were taken one at a time. When Thack went off at the 'Ring in practice, we had to pile in a road car after the session, find where he'd crashed, vault the barriers (and risk falling a fair way down a steep hillside) in order to retrieve the nose cone - as they only had the one...


Good to see a reply in keeping with the point of the truth. I watched my brother pay back every penny of Jones so called gift and believe me Jones never let up on it till it was paid back. Mick asked me to post a thread just to let people know he is still out there having a good time. As for the surfing, we both grew up surfing down south of Perth at Margarets, Rocky Point, Sugarloaf Rock, Three Brears, Smiths Beach et al and the outer reefs off Rotto, places we still head for when we need a break, in addition we travel worldwide when finance allows to surf remote breaks. Mick runs his skate and surf shop on the south coast of England because that is where his partner and there severely autistic son live, its not the XBox at Margaret River or Radar or Chicken Reef at Rottnest , but then again Mick never run away from the harder things in life. I posted the thread as a bit of fun. As for the weed well thats just the way it is. As for the silver spoon, his racing life was far from that, as a family we hocked everything to keep him racing as well as our friends did after his accident which was horrific. As for watching racing its fact he has never watched a race meeting since he went on to otherthings at 26 eg Flying Helicopters in the North Sea, teaching disabled children ect . He does one classic event a year for a friend and thats it. The sport he was born into let him go and not the other way round. Fact is if asked today he would say give him 2 months testing in a top F1 car and he would still be on the first three rows of any Grand Prix today, even at 46 and thats having never driven a racing car in 20 years. Shame no one in Motor Racing has the balls to take him up on it

Thanks Stuart
Kerry Thackwell

#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 23:05

Thanks, Kerry, you've just given a lot of authenticity to your original post...

And sorry to hear that Mike has had to live with autism in a child, it can be a terrible thing, even if moments can be very rewarding.

I do think, however, you're making a very brave statement about his current capacity. Or are you?

It's quite possible, I guess, that he'd be able to do it. I guess he'd have to go off the weed for a while, though.

Another thing, though... would he want to be in it today? Methinks it's worse now than it was in his heyday, when it 'let him go'...

#37 Hieronymus

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 06:24

Originally posted by Kerry Thackwell



...in addition we travel worldwide when finance allows to surf remote breaks.


Have you chaps ever been to J'Bay here in ZA? Home of the Perfect Wave. If not, put it on your travel list for the winter months out here, i.e. May to August!

#38 Maldwyn

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 08:28

Originally posted by Kerry Thackwell
Shame no one in Motor Racing has the balls to take him up on it.

How about Grand Prix Masters? A few races shouldn't cut into the surfing too much :)

Whatever he does I wish him well. I remember happy days spent watching racing at the likes of Silverstone & Thruxton in the early 80's and thinking we'd see him winning races in F1 in the none too distant future. Ah well, some things aren't meant to be I guess.

#39 jcbc3

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 08:41

Originally posted by Kerry Thackwell

.... Fact is if asked today he would say give him 2 months testing in a top F1 car and he would still be on the first three rows of any Grand Prix today, even at 46 and thats having never driven a racing car in 20 years. Shame no one in Motor Racing has the balls to take him up on it

Thanks Stuart
Kerry Thackwell



I call BS.

He was very talented in his time. But not a great. His time as a race car driver came and went. Let him enjoy his weed and surf and family and not make stupid claims.

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#40 Frank Verplanken

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:15

Nice to hear about Mike Thackwell. I liked him as a racer and I sometimes feared he had ended up as a disenchanted and overweight racing veteran, now making a living out of dealing the worst of legal drugs around :D ! Glad to see this is not the case at all ! In fact he seems to have find what racing did not bring him : fullfilness and a happy life. I always saw him as a free spirit and the way he apparently asked you, Kerry, to spread the word about his current life speaks for the detachment he probably always had about what people think of him. A rare quality among top racing drivers (probably because it's one of the qualities that do not necessarily help to become a top racing driver, especially since the last 30 years or so).
Anyway if any of Mike's trips in the French Alps bring him near the Riviera and particularly Nice, please tell him to check me out ! I'd love to offer him a, err, well, not a drink :) and have a little chat with him ! :wave:

#41 Allen Brown

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:26

Originally posted by Frank Verplanken
Nice to hear about Mike Thackwell. I liked him as a racer and I sometimes feared he had ended up as a disenchanted and overweight racing veteran, now making a living out of dealing the worst of legal drugs around :D ! Glad to see this is not the case at all ! In fact he seems to have find what racing did not bring him : fullfilness and a happy life. I always saw him as a free spirit and the way he apparently asked you, Kerry, to spread the word about his current life speaks for the detachment he probably always had about what people think of him. A rare quality among top racing drivers (probably because it's one of the qualities that do not necessarily help to become a top racing driver, especially since the last 30 years or so).
Anyway if any of Mike's trips in the French Alps bring him near the Riviera and particularly Nice, please tell him to check me out ! I'd love to offer him a, err, well, not a drink :) and have a little chat with him ! :wave:

You raise a good point Frank. Nobody objected to the idea that he was dealing unclassified drugs that are responsible for 6,500 deaths a year in the UK and cost the UK economy £20.1bn - i.e. running a pub - yet some here are appalled by his consumption of a Class C drug which experts say has a 'harm rating' of 1.3 compared with 1.8 for alcohol.

Allen

#42 simon drabble

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 10:34

I just think its rather pathetic that someone needs to go onto a public forum to say that he is "doing drugs" its all very sixth form......

#43 bill patterson

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 10:55

This is a Nostalgia Forum for Motor Sport

Unless we wish to discuss Mike's racing career this thread should be closed - I have no wish to re-read the age old debate on the merits drug taking

As for Maldwyn's How about Grand Prix Masters? - the FIA might have some views!

#44 Kpy

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 11:54

Originally posted by simon drabble
I just think its rather pathetic that someone needs to go onto a public forum to say that he is "doing drugs" its all very sixth form......

Fine, but

Originally posted by simon drabble
now all I have to do is find out who the hell Michael Thackwell is!



#45 RA Historian

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 13:12

Originally posted by Fiorentina 1
I saw Mike race in Cart in I think 1984 at Las Vegas in a Penske, subing for injured Rick Mears. I don't know what happened, and why he didn't land a full time ride in 85.

Because Rick came back.

#46 Frank Verplanken

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 13:48

;) Thanks Allen, exactly how I see it too. I am not a weed propagandist or whatever, but it is my opinion that on the subject of substances altering one's percetions etc., cannabis is probably one of the most harmless of all ; far behind alcohol, and not too far behind even cafeine, sleep pills, anxiolitcs, and a bunch more. Alcohol litterally destroys lives and families every day. Cannabis only wrecked Bob Marley's lungs and Tomas Enge's career AFAIK. I personally don't really care about how much people have a biased view on the matter. But it's always sad to see that when someone like Mike gives news saying "I'm allright, life's nice, doing my stuff as I please, smoking the odd joint between two hollies or two waves" many will only read : "he's doing drugs now". Mike if probably as far of being a junkie as I am of being a GP driver (which does not mean Mike came as close of being a GP driver that I have of being a junkie, mind you :D).
I am not into thread hi-jacking at all and I understand Bill's concern. However I sometimes like to read the TNFer point of view on a non-motorsport subject. Plus, I'm sure we could have had three pages of posts regarding skating, surfing or mountain climbing without anyone raising the OT Red Flag yet which is a shame ! Even sadder, when we had threads about Vic Lee, Tony Dean, the Whittington bros or the IMSA gang, nobody seemed too shocked or shaken about it. Same with "the glory days of moonshining" folklore when it comes to NASCAR :rolleyes: : great drivers, great races, no doubt - but basically by a bunch of racist rednecks illegally dealing a death spreader. But then maybe in my turn I might have a biased view on the topic...

To come back to Mike Thackwell the racing car driver, his heyday came a bit before I reached the age of reason. But I do remember his one-off drive to victory in the Ralt-Honda at the Pau F3000 GP. Much to my juvenile amazement at the time he never got to race the car again...

#47 ex Rhodie racer

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 14:46

I really think there are a few people on here who should lighten up a wee bit.
God forbid that I would ever advocate substance abuse (alcohol, weed and the like), but it is also not mine, or anyone else´s place to dictate how others should live their lives, no matter how much we disapprove.
I loved my dear old Dad more than any other person I have ever known, but he was still a dyed in the wool old fashioned conservative, who never really understood the meaning of, live and let live. Fortunately, his attitude taught me to adopt a more understanding approach towards others in life.
Anyway, can I take it Mike´s critics have never had a drink? Not even a little one?
"let he who is without sin cast the first stone"

#48 simon drabble

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 14:50

you missed the whole point - its upto each individual what they get upto - my comment was merely that it wasnt very clever pubicising it on a public forum unless its to get a reaction of course!
Ite especially foolish to do that and then later in the same thread try to get a drive in a current F1 car!!!

#49 RS2000

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 14:50

Originally posted by Frank Verplanken
;) Plus, I'm sure we could have had three pages of posts regarding skating, surfing or mountain climbing without anyone raising the OT Red Flag yet which is a shame ! Even sadder, when we had threads about Vic Lee, Tony Dean, the Whittington bros or the IMSA gang, nobody seemed too shocked or shaken about it.


and thats without even mentioning that the guy currently doing 26 years for the 2000 Isle of Wight yacht cocaine bust set 3 consecutive F3 poles in 1974....

#50 ex Rhodie racer

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 15:31

Originally posted by simon drabble
you missed the whole point - its upto each individual what they get upto - my comment was merely that it wasnt very clever pubicising it on a public forum unless its to get a reaction of course!


Well, if that´s how you feel, why are you accommodating him then? I´m not being facetious, just curious :)